Even if an adult is capable of making decisions, there may be times when they need someone to help make non-financial decisions. This is called supported decision-making.
A supporter’s help is often needed when the adult is:
- has mild disabilities
- doesn’t speak English well
- is facing a complex decision
A supporter can be named at the same time a personal directive or will is prepared.
What a supporter does
A supporter helps communicate the adult’s questions, concerns and decisions by talking to their service providers, who could include:
- care centres
A supporter has the legal authority to:
- access the adult’s personal information like medical records
- help the adult think through decisions
Who can be a supporter
The adult can authorize up to 3 supporters, but their public guardian can’t be one of them.
- must be over 18 years old
- must have a trusting relationship with the adult
- may be a relative or friend of the adult
Name the supporters
Step 1. Identify supporters and their authorities
The adult does the following:
- identify someone they have a trusting relationship with
- this includes relatives and friends
- decide which area each supporter will have authority in, such as healthcare or employment
Step 2. Fill out the form
The adult and each of their supporters must fill out and sign this form:
Supported Decision-Making Authorization (PDF, 1.0 MB)
Step 3. Make copies of the form
The adult keeps the original signed form for their records.
Each supporter keeps a copy of the signed form, so they can show it to the adult’s service providers.
Adult has the capacity to make decisions
The adult can end the support they’re getting from someone at any time by filling out this form:
Adult loses the capacity to make decisions
This means the adult’s supported decision-making ends.
If the adult still needs support but isn’t capable, then one of the following happens:
- a personal directive is enacted
- the court appoints a co-decision-maker
- the court appoints a guardian